Former President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe, whose death has been announced, was among the last of the generation of African leaders who led their countries to independence. He also played a prominent part as a Commonwealth leader until the circumstances leading to the withdrawal of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth in 2003.
President Mugabe chaired the eleventh Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Zimbabwe in October 1991, and the ‘Harare Commonwealth Declaration’ from that gathering became a cornerstone Commonwealth document of its time. It defined the core values of the Commonwealth, which have since been strengthened and are now set out in our Commonwealth Charter. The Commonwealth provided significant support for the negotiations which resulted in the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979, paving the way for Zimbabwe’s independence.